Let’s see what positives we can take from this past weekend’s debacle. Well, I guess C-mac and Phil the Thrill both scored when no one else could.
But then again, no one else could score, so Mac and Phil had to.
It’s only the first month and already we’ve seen many extremes of this team. There has been the fast skating, quick puck movement dominate team. The outplayed team that rallies together to come up with a win. But the more negative ones are the team that can’t score despite total domination, late game collapses and pure lack of… hockey.
The latter referring to the 5-2 thumping from Philly on the weekend. You know, the game where asking for a 5foot pass to be tape-to-tape was asking for a lot? The collective game plan of handing to puck over without fight didn’t work out as well as one would hope.
At some point you think the polite thing to do is for Philly to return the favor once and awhile.
These extremes should be repeated often over the season. Even the best teams roll over from time to time, (see Sharks-Flames, Oct 24th) so the next game should speak to the character of this team. They need to come out big and set an example of how to respond after a game like that and make other teams wary of playing the Leafs after a loss.
Everyone needs to be hungry, everyone needs to forecheck and everyone needs to be in position to cover their check. Better goaltending would be great, but it has been…okay the last few games but okay won’t cut it forever.
Every player needs to prove they have the ability to bounce back into form and be willing to fight for every point no matter the score.
Failing that, one successful pass every 5-10 min from someone not named Kaberle would be yield slightly better results. And no, you don’t get credit for a tape-to-tape pass if the recipient is Mike Richards. That would not be helpful at all.
That is asking a lot, I know, but we have a few games to work on it. After all, Ottawa will need a few more months to equal the Leafs wins.
Luckily it is still early and this team is still defining who they are, hopefully it won’t be listed under the ‘Lo-Lu’ edition of the Encyclopedia Ice Hockeyous.